Reading English in the Computer Lab

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Alzahra University,

Abstract

The present study compares the performance of two TEFL reading classes: one taking place in a regular classroom and the other held in a computer lab, with the learners practicing reading online. The results of an independent samples t-test showed that the difference between the learners’ scores on their reading comprehension post-tests and pretests did not differ statistically significantly from one group to the other, indicating that the two groups’ progress was similar during the one-term period of instruction. In addition to this, learner interviews and teacher observations showed that some of the challenges of practicing reading in a computer lab included an over-reliance on copy/pasting; time wasted and stress induced due to Internet/technology problems, phobia, or lack of expertise; distractions created through working with technology; and occasional lack of learners’ awareness of the benefits of online reading. Yet, despite all this, reading online seems to have benefits which make it worth all the difficulties and extra effort. 

Keywords


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